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Posts Tagged ‘Andrea Wong’

Harvey Weinstein, Ali MacGraw and the Brains Behind Coffee With Tim Cook

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Where to begin? This week at 55th and Fifth, the scene in the dining room provided whiplash-inducing people watching with a tasty mix of moguls on the menu (Harvey Weinstein, Jimmy Finkelstein) with a side of social swans (Sharon Bush, Patricia Kluge, Terry Allen Kramer).

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wednesday at Michael’s without the random celebrity sighting. I was thrilled to hear that I would be sitting next to none other than Ali MacGraw today. The ageless actress, who catapulted into the pop culture hall of fame with her iconic performance (and preppy wardrobe) in the 1970 tearjerker Love Story, turned every head in the place when she arrived — which is quite a feat among this crowd. She was beyond gracious as diners (including yours truly) lined up for pictures. Several years ago, I worked with her on The Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars where she was honored with FGI’s entertainment award for her contributions to film and fashion. When I re-introduced myself, she immediately said, “Oh, I remember that night. It was so much fun!” and then proceeded to tell me this delicious bit of gossip from the evening: “I was standing next to Bill Blass when he saw Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones come in. And Bill turned to the person next to him and said, “Finally, some real movie stars!” She giggled, clearly delighted by the memory of the snarky diss from the designer.

Diane Clehane and Coppy Holzman

Speaking of the power of celebrity, I was joined today by Charitybuzz CEO and founder Coppy Holzman who dazzled me with tales of his work with the famous and philanthropic. His company, which he founded in 2005, is currently the world’s largest online charity auction site and is the go-to partner for every famous person with a charity looking to raise serious money for their pet causes.

It all started at a backyard fundraising party for The Clinton Library in Westport, Connecticut that Coppy attended where he met President Bill Clinton and Chevy Chase. “Isn’t there a way  for you to use your experience on the Internet to raise for the library?” the host of the party asked Coppy. On the spot, he came up with the idea of auctioning off a lunch with the former president. One year later, The Chevy Chase Earth Day Auction brought in $250,000 for the library, including $80,000 paid by one bidder to lunch with Clinton and Chase. Since then, Coppy has worked with Clinton on many different initiatives. “There is no bigger celebrity in the world,” he says. The top dollar paid to spend the day with Hillary’s husband: $255,000 in an auction last year.

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A&E Television Net Acquires Lifetime Entertainment

aetn.jpgA&E Television Networks, which is a joint venture between the Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corp. and NBC Universalhas entered into an agreement to acquire Lifetime Entertainment Services, which will put several cable channels under one management team.

The new parent company, which will be called A&E Television Networks, will now encompass many channels including A&E Network, History, Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Bio, History International, Lifetime Real Women, History en Español, Military History and Crime & Investigation Network.

Under the terms of the deal, NBCU can “elect or be required to exit the company over a period of up to 15 years,” reported Broadcasting and Cable. If NBCU exits, Hearst and Disney would become 50/50 partners.

Abbe Raven, president and CEO of A&E, will serve as head of the newly combined company. Lifetime’s CEO Andrea Wong, Nancy Dubuc at the History Channel and Robert DiBitetto at A&E will be keeping their positions, and they will all report to Raven, B&C reported.

via B&C and ABC News

Lunch: Power Blondes Rule! Katie Couric, Tina Brown and Barbara Walters Hold Court

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Today at Michael’s, they were dishing like it was 2007. As if the head-spinning assortment of media alpha gals (Katie! Tina! Barbara!) wasn’t enough to keep us busy, the dining room, bar and lounge was jam-packed with mavens and moguls of all stripes who barely made time to peck at their Cobb salads between all the table-hopping. It was hard to keep up! I made my rounds in the dining room to check in with the regulars, and all anyone wanted to know was ‘Who else is here today?’ (I’ve always thought this place was just like a high school cafeteria, but with better clothes.) Plenty of heads turned when Katie Couric breezed in sporting a chic, shorter ‘do and a pretty polka dot summer dress. The woman sitting next to me whispered, “She looks 35!” We have to agree. I caught Katie on her way to her table just long enough to ask what she has planned for her summer vacation next month. No trips to Wasilla for the CBS News’ anchor: “I’m going to the beach with my daughters to enjoy my time with them before Ellie goes off to college!”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Katie Couric, Lifetime’s CEO Andrea Wong, Deborah Roberts, Sherrie Westin and Cynthia McFadden

2. Jeanine Pirro with publicist Adam Schiff and an unidentified bespectacled gal. I hadn’t talked to Jeanine since I profiled her for Westchester magazine last fall on the eve of the premiere of her show, Judge Jeanine. With one season under her robe, Jeanine is thrilled — “We’re in syndication now!” Life must be pretty good for the former Westchester DA — she was tan and dressed to the nines, toting a gorgeous alligator bag.

3. The ladies who lunch: Somers Farkas (in Pucci) with three other social swans

4. Barbara Walters and Diana Taylor

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Lunch: Katie Couric & The Fashion Flock

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— DIANE CLEHANE

You’d think all the fabulous fashionistas would have fled Gotham by now (they’ve got to rest up for Fashion Week which is just around the corner). Nothing doing: The style mavens and social swans that populate the front row of those shows you can never get into were out in force today at Michael’s. Katie Couric breezed in looking chicer than ever although she couldn’t tell me whose dress she was wearing. She let me peek at the label — it was Brian Reyes. “My daughter told me about his sample sale,” says Couric. But it’s not all summer fun for the CBS Evening News anchor. She’s off to the conventions soon and promises lots of “cool things.” Says Couric: “We’ve got a lot of great new things planned — podcasts and things on the Web. I think there’s a press release going out today.” Right you are, Katie, and TVNewser has it.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Hallmark honcho Henry Schleiff hosting a Court TV reunion with Hallmark staffer and Court TV alums Jennifer Geisser, Yvette Harrison and Rochelle Dire who just landed a new gig at Lime Wire.

2. Michael Hirshorn and two pals.

3. Charles Koppelman and Martha Stewart Living’s new co-president Robin Marino

4. Glamour‘s Cindi Leive (who looked tres chic with her short ‘do and killer Louboutins) and Katie Couric.

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Betty Cohen Leaves Lifetime/Can Andrea Wong Make It Right?

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Betty Cohen is leaving Lifetime after only 2 years, and ABC’s Andrea Wong is rumored to be the leading contender to take her place. Wong’s chief glories have been reality winners, like Dancing with the Stars, et.al.

At the upfronts, Lifetime announced reality shows:

How To Look Good Naked–hosted by Carson Kressley who’s probably seen pictures of women naked, at least.

America’s Psychic Challenge–psychics duke it out. How come they never go to Vegas?

and scripted fare:

Army WivesKim Delaney loves a man in a uniform.

and MOWs:

Write & WrongKirstie Alley in The Front, only she’s old, not black-listed.

And if the predictions come true, the hed can be Write and Wong. We crack ourselves up.

In the Trades: Reality, Antiquity, Infamy

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ABC has a new reality project in the works called The Golden Cage, from EP John de Mol, creator of Fear Factor and Big Brother. Ten contestants live in a high end mansion with all the trappings of the filthy rich–servants, lavish parties, great food, etc. The thing is, they can’t leave. It’s The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie as a game show!

Roman Polanski will direct Pompeii, a dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of Mt. Vesuvius just before and during its eruption. Toga party!

Peter Bart weighs in on the producer credit dilemna, writing:

There always seem to be several writers on a movie–why not several producers?

The more, the merrier or safety in numbers?

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Mark Canton (you know–Wendy Finerman’s ex) is making a comeback, not that he ever really went away, and tells Anne Thompson all about it. He’s pinning his hopes on the big screen version of Frank Miller’s graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae. The movie is called 300, because no one in Hollywood can pronouce Thermopylae.

ABC’s Andrea Wong says reality tv has no rules, which is mighty big talk from the woman who killed the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire franchise. Still, ABC took a risk with Dancing With the Stars which paid off nicely. Asked what show she covets, Wong replied:

The steamroller of American Idol. I want to kill myself every time it’s on.

You and half the world, sister.